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The wolf padded up to the man without trepidation at the outstretched offering of dried, salted pork. A curious taste. Strong, but not unpleasant, and chewy. It was his third such mouthful.

After every bite, he made play as if he had lost interest, and ready to go away. Sniffing at the ground further, and further away from his large stone den until he reached the uncrossable water.

Each time the man spoke quiet words and waved a hand, but made no move to stand or follow. He was content to sit upon his stones. His bare feet nestled in the dew soaked grass.

It was curious to the wolf, as he too enjoyed the cloying damp wetting the pads of his paws, and the scent of Morning's first breeze led him here day after day.

The man was his.

He had called in the sunless forest, and the wolf had accepted, as his pack had done for many seasons since the Darkest Night. Bonded now, come what would, he took the man for what he was. Difficult as that was to pindown and name.

Still, he could not help but feel a rightness in the connection.

The man had a mind of growing things, which was not unusual for humans. Often they reckoned the passing of time in such ways.

But in the wolf's thoughts, a red tree refusing the ways of season, and wreathed in vitality.

A woven crown laid at its roots.

Such sights dominated the shared flow of imagery, and the wolf had great wonder at this.

Without remembering taking any steps, he was eating from his hand again, nearly eye level. This time, he drew his canines across his knuckles hard enough to declare himself, but not so hard to pull blood from its nest.

Laughing, he loped away a dozen paces, hoping one such nip would prove enough.

Point made, he turned to see the man had still not stood. He had not cursed, or cried out. He had not made threats, though he did check over his hand.

"Likely counting his fingers," thought the wolf with growing amusement.

He was right for him, and he had been named.


The man was not without his own humor.

The name was acceptable, and sounded as close to a bark as human talk would allow. Oneday, he decided, he would even respond to it.